The Institute of Education Sciences, the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, has invited applicants to compete to run three new centers focused on different areas of education policy.
One center would examine which kinds of math standards and assessments produce the best academic results for children. Math standards and test frameworks are usually developed by expert consensus, IES notes in its request for applications, yet there’s often little empirical data behind those decisions.
A second center would probe strategies to redesign math curricula based on research on student cognition.
The third would study the policies and practices of schools that have succeeded in working with traditionally underachieving student populations, and how their successes can be expanded to other schools.
The IES now funds 13 research and development centers, which study aspects of education policy such as college access, performance incentives, and school technology. Two additional centers focus on special education. The deadline to apply to run the three new centers was earlier this month.
A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 2009 edition of Education Week as Institute of Education Sciences to Open Three Research Centers